The pianist Fred Hersch grew up with the music of Beethoven andMozart, but was much more attracted by the world of jazz. 'I reallyliked hanging around in jazz clubs, also because of the socialcontext. The moment I had discovered jazz, I thought it was thecoolest thing I had ever heard.' Hersch (1955) became sought afterin New York and attended all kinds of sessions. Over the years hehas recorded over twenty CDs and an equal number in tandem withlegends like Stan Getz, Joe Henderson and Art Farmer. For him, histrilogy Songs without Words of 2001 was a true tour de force. 'Thegreatest challenge for me as a pianist was to have enough energy togive each piece a life of its own.' His most recent album, Live atJazz Standard, demonstrates this same ambition. Although FredHersch can be mesmerizing as a soloist, he will be present on theNorth Sea Jazz stage with a quintet.